ARTICLE by Charlotte Gelstharp

How to trim your baby’s nails

 |  Reading time: 3 minutes
B_for_Blog | Natural Baby Shower

It’s crazy to think that nails start to grow as early at 8 weeks in the womb. When they are born their little nails are so tiny you need to look so closely to see even them. But their little nails can grow surprisingly fast and can cause your little one some pain if they scratch their face or body so it is important to keep them short and cut them regularly.

For such little things, baby’s nails grow pretty fast. At first, you may find you need to trim fingernails more than once a week, while slower-growing toenails need a snip a couple of times a month. With this much practice you’ll be a confident pro in no time! Some parents get a little nervous when cutting their baby’s nails for the first few times, so we’ve compiled a few helpful tips to help make it easy and worry free.


How to trim your baby’s nails



When is the best time to cut your baby’s nails?

A good time to cut your little one’s nails are whilst they are sleeping. This will mean you are much less likely to cut them as they will be very still and calm instead of wriggling or getting upset. Just make sure, even though they are asleep, that there is sufficient lighting so you can see what you are doing.

It’s also a good idea to do it after bath time, your little one will be a little calmer and a little dozey from their warm bath, plus their nails will be much softer.

If you do decide to cut your baby’s nails when they are awake it’s a good idea to have someone else there with you to help. They can either help you gently hold your little one to stop wriggling whilst you do the cutting, or they can simply be there to make funny faces and distract your little one.


What to use?

It’s best to use a pair of nail clippers that are specifically meant to be used on babies’ nails. These have been designed for smaller nails and will help prevent any cutting of skin or cutting the nails too short. Or you can simply use a nail file to file the nails down if you prefer. We recommend getting the babymoov Care Kit which has everything you need to care for your little one in one package including; nail file, thermometer, baby nail clippers, baby nose-cleaner and so much more. 


How to trim your baby’s nails


Best way to cut little nails.

The best and safest way to cut baby nails are to press the finger pad away from the nail to avoid nicking the skin, and keep a firm hold on your baby's hand as you clip.

Cut fingernails along the natural curve of the finger taking care that you don't go too low. Cut toenails straight across. Then use an emery board to smooth out rough edges. Never cut down the side of his toenail, as this may cause ingrown nails. Don't probe into the sides of his nails as this could cause an infection. 

Cutting them regularly will help prevent painful ingrown toenails but if they do get one it’s good to know what to do. Signs of an ingrown toenail include pain, redness, and swelling. If an ingrown toenail does occur, ease the pain by putting a little bit of cotton between the skin and the ingrown toenail, suggests Dr. Kurtz. Then head for your paediatrician or a podiatrist. A simple in-office procedure can safely fix the problem.

Some parents bite their baby's nails into shape, we don’t recommend doing this. It could introduce germs from your mouth into any little cut your baby may have on their fingers. You also won't be able to see or feel what you're doing as you could if it was your own fingers.


If you do cut their finger, what is the best thing to do?

Firstly, if you do end up catching a bit of skin and cutting their fingers, don’t beat yourself up! These things happen, it’s easily done and happens to most parents. The best thing to do in this situation is to just grab a damp bit of cotton wool to wipe the cut and clean away any blood, then press gently but firmly on it until the bleeding stops. Never use plasters on babies: they're a choking hazard if they fall off.